News PM to make an inspection round of all ministries

08-07-2014 10:22 | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is to pay a series of inspection visits to all ministries in the next few days to be briefed in detail on their plans and priorities. On Tuesday he is to visit the Ministry of Culture where Culture Minister Daniel Herman will inform him on the reconstruction of Czech cultural monuments, support for Czech film and other plans in the pipeline. The Czech government wants to gradually increase financing for culture to 1 percent of the GDP, which is the present European standard.

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Training session underway on Czech-Slovak border

27-09-2016 10:09 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are holding a joint training session on their common border to test coordination and communication in the event of the need to renew border checks due to the migrant crisis. Over 300 police officers, 140 soldiers and 30 customs officers have been stationed along a 250km stretch of the border and are conducting random checks of vehicles and people. The operation, which affects 11 border crossings, is to last for 24 hours. Similar training sessions are due to take place on the country’s borders with Austria and Germany. 

Slav Epic to be shown in Japan and China

27-09-2016 09:52 | Daniela Lazarová

The Slav Epic cycle of paintings by Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha will be displayed in Tokyo as of March 2017 within events marking the Year of Czech Culture held in Japan on the 60th anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In mid-2017 the collection of 20 paintings will move to China where it will be shown in three prominent museums in the course of the next twelve months. According to Prague Gallery director Magdalena Juříková the loan contracts should be signed within a few months. The Gallery must also acquire an export permit for cultural heritage items issued by the Czech Culture Ministry. Art experts have warned that the Asian tour presents a high risk the paintings could be damaged not just by transport and handling but due to the high temperatures and humidity in this part of the world. 

AAU receives accreditation from WASCUC

26-09-2016 18:06 | Daniela Lazarová

The Anglo-American University in Prague has received accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States, a university representative told the ctk news agency on Monday. The accreditation is valid for a period of six years with a mid-cycle review due to take place in the spring of 2019. The accreditation is a guarantee of compatibility with US educational standards and simplifies the transferability of credits and recognition of AAU diplomas in the USA. 

Czech and Slovak prime ministers say EU must hold common line in Brexit talks

26-09-2016 17:56 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech and Slovak prime ministers have stressed the need for the EU to show unity in the Brexit talks. Speaking in Bratislava following a joint session of the Czech and Slovak cabinets, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said it was potentially dangerous for Britain to negotiate Brexit conditions separately with selected EU members. He said Prague and Bratislava considered it unacceptable for Britain to be granted full access to the EU market while restricting movement of labour on its own territory. The Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, also stressed the importance of the EU holding a common line in talks with Britain. 

Hospitals ring alarm bells regarding excessive overtime hours

26-09-2016 17:34 | Daniela Lazarová

Doctors in Czech hospitals put in twice as many overtime hours as norms allow, Czech television reported citing information released by hospitals in different parts of the country within a campaign aimed at attracting attention to the problem. According to existing regulations doctors may serve up to 416 hours overtime in the course of a year. In actual fact they served on average 700 to 900 overtime hours in the first eight months of this year alone, including in surgery. Hospitals say that if this were not the case health care in most of these institutions would collapse. 

Czech and Slovak governments hold joint cabinet session

26-09-2016 16:17 updated | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech and Slovak governments on Monday held a joint working session in Bratislava with security issues, cooperation in defence and transport high on the agenda. The neighbour states are working to improve road and rail links and plan to sign an agreement on cooperation in defending their airspace. Ministers also debated plans for a joint celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. The two nations spent 73 years in a common state, parting ways in 1993, but have maintained exceptionally close ties. 

Environment Ministry sued over air pollution

26-09-2016 14:36 | Daniela Lazarová

The Prague association of environmentalists Vlasta is suing the Ministry of the Environment for allegedly failing to address the problem of air-pollution. The ministry already faces a number of similar lawsuits from associations in Ostrava and Brno, cities in the eastern part of the country where air pollution is a chronic problem in the winter months. The Prague association Vlasta points out that dust particles in the air frequently exceed permitted levels and argues that the ministry’s policy in combatting air pollution is woefully ineffective. The court has 90 days in which to address the complaint. 

SkyToll files official complaint over extended contract with Kapsch

26-09-2016 13:15 | Daniela Lazarová

SkyToll has filed a complaint with the the Czech competition watchdog, the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition, over the Transport Ministry’s decision to prolong the motorway toll collection contract with the Austrian company Kapsch without holding a competitive tender. Although the contract with Kapsch was deemed disadvantageous, the ministry failed to prepare the ground to end the country’s dependency on the firm and, earlier this year, extended the contract for fear that a fall-out in the tolling system would mean the country would be overrun by trucks. The decision came under fire both from coalition and opposition deputies who warned that the government was laying itself open to arbitration procedures from rival companies. 

Václav Klaus Jr. aiming for high politics

26-09-2016 12:51 | Daniela Lazarová

Václav Klaus Jr., the elder son of the former president, has announced his intention to run for office in the 2017 parliamentary elections. Mr. Klaus, formerly director of an elite secondary school in Prague, said it was premature to speak about ambitions within the centre-right Civic Democratic Party established by his father, who parted ways with the party and is no longer a member. We shall see after the elections, Klaus Jr. told the news site Like his father, Klaus junior is a fierce critic of the EU, saying o Facebook recently that the Czech Republic should leave the alliance. The leader of the Civic Democratic Party Petr Fiala distanced himself from the statement. 

Production of L-410 planes to remain in Moravia

26-09-2016 12:19 | Daniela Lazarová

The production of L-410 airplanes manufactured by the Russian-owned company Aircraft Industries will remain in Kunovice, South Moravia, representatives of the Russian company confirmed in talks with Czech Trade and Industry Minister Jan Mladek on Monday. The company’s employees had been holding a strike alert over fears that production would be reduced or moved to Russia. The situation in the company had been deteriorating, with sales of the LET aircraft in one of the main markets, Russia, dropping sharply. Many of the company's 900 employees have been forced to take leave with reduced wages. According to the company’s management the firm has acquired new orders from China and full operation should be renewed by November. 


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